neutral Christmas stockings hanging from a stocking rod partially hidden under greenery

How to Easily Hang Christmas Stockings With a Stocking Rod

The easiest, most flexible way to hang Christmas stockings is with a rod. Here are all the ins & outs and pros & cons for success with ease!

I work on Christmas stockings all year long. Not just as a blogger, but as a Christmas stocking professional.

It sounds crazy, but I have become one. For more than 25 years now, I have been designing, making, hanging and styling Christmas stockings.

So it’s no wonder that when the holiday season rolls around and everyone pulls out their Christmas decorations, I start hearing:

“How do you hang your Christmas stockings?”

I get that question all the time.

So if you’re struggling with this too. I’m glad you’re here. I love helping everyone hang (and style) their Christmas stockings to become a beloved focal point of their holiday celebrations.

Over my 25 years of working with stockings professionally, I have developed many creative ways to hang them.

For this post, let’s assume you will be hanging on a fireplace mantel.

The same idea can be used on another horizontal surface such as the top of a:

  • hutch
  • Bookshelves
  • Entertainment center (do we still have those?)

Basically any big, tall piece of furniture, with some festive decorations, can become the perfect spot to display your stockings and your holiday spirit for jolly old St. Nick — and your family and friends.

With a mantel, or alternative, my favorite way is the easy way — with a Christmas Stocking Rod

What is a Christmas Stocking Rod?

The rod itself can be a curtain rod, thin metal piping or even a dowel. Here, you can see how I even used a long birch branch as a great alternative stocking rod. I’m sure St. Nicholas would approve!

Why Use a Stocking Rod?

There are a number of advantages:

  • Keeps up with a growing family — no need to buy more stocking holders or worse, start over when you can no longer find matching ones
  • Flexibility — your mantel display is no longer dictated by a chorus line of individual holders
  • Safer — many of the individual holders are quite heavy but not designed to sit back on the mantel to hold a weighty stocking
  • Expand and contract as your number of guests change over the years
  • Easy to add fun style to your stocking display.

That first reason is how this came to be in the beginning. When we began our family decades ago, we received a pair of gorgeous stocking holders as a wedding gift. When the first of the kiddos came along, I needed a solution for my own mantel. One that included our gorgeous holders. They were no longer available. Besides, we couldn’t afford anything I really liked.

By suspending a thrift store curtain rod between them, I was able to hang three stockings from two holders.

Then it became four, then five . . . You get it.

How Do You Make a Stocking Rod?

Closeup of stocking holder with curtain rod suspended through the loop

I use ONE curtain rod, or dowel, suspended between TWO traditional Christmas stocking holders. And that’s it!!!

It doesn’t get much easier than that! Two stocking holders, only two, will hold the rod.

Keep a look out for two heavy stocking holders that have a hook or loop large enough to slip a thin curtain rod, or wooden dowel through. 

NOTE: The hooks do not need to circle down as mine do. They CAN be the typical simple up-turned cup. The important piece is the depth the weight sits back from the edge of the mantel. 

It’s the playground physics we all learned on the teeter totter — the further back you sit, the more weight you can lift. Yes Mr Toler, my 7th grade science teacher, it’s the lever and torque physics principle. But, really we all know it as teeter totter physics, right? So that’s the rod, but what about the stockings?

How to Hang The Christmas Stockings On the Rod:

Sux unique Christmas stockings are hanging from a curtain rod suspended from stocking hangers with greeneryy around

When my stockings easily fit within the space, and I’m looking for a simple way, perhaps the easiest way, I just use a twist tie to attached each stocking loop to the rod.

Four Stockings are tied onto the stocking rod with satin ribbon

You can add a bit of festive spirit, tie them with a short length of decorative ribbon in your color scheme, like above.

stockings hanging tied to a birch branch rod with long tailed bows of minimalistic ribbon

This is also the perfect place to introduce more decorative elements and holiday cheer. It’s little details, a little creativity, and not much money that really bring your stockings to life. Jute, torn muslin strips or even clothesline is great for a rustic look. Any festive ribbon from shimmering wide ribbon to drapey thin ribbon, wired or non-wired will all work.

NOTE: The only rule is to stay away from anything that stretches, and this includes yarn.

8 Christmas stockings hanging at staggered heights from stocking rod

When my grouping outgrows the allocated width and the cuffs start overlapping, then I like to tie the stockings to the rod at different levels to stagger their heights.

Yippee!! Now that you have reclaimed your mantel from the chorus line of individual stocking holders, it has become a great place to really showcase your style and the theme of your holiday decorations.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Casual Christmas stockings are displayed on a stocking rod on a mantel with vintage skis and burlap trees

Look closely. My two stocking holders, as pretty as they are, are buried behind my chosen decor. So really the decor determined the placement of the holders.

Can you see them?

Same image of casual stockings with vintage ski display but with the two stocking holders circled

All the way to the outside with the holders tucked back behind the pine cones and burlap trees. All the stockings are inside the two holders.

When the center of my mantel display is high, in this case the crossed vintage skis, if the holders were exposed in the center, they would be a distraction. So I hid them behind the pinecones and burlap trees on the ends.

stockings hanging at varying heights with an elegant display on the mantel

How about this time?

same elegant mantel display with the stocking holder circled in red

Now they are more toward the middle so the holders could hide on each side of the glass hurricane hidden behind the greenery sprays.

I just want to show you that you don’t need to let a lineup of stocking holders dictate your mantel display — a focal point of your holidays.

Even More Options!

And if you just can’t find any stocking hangers that you think will work, or if two stocking hangers are still two too many for you, check out this stocking stealth shelf solution.

That’s right, with a stocking shelf, you no longer need even the two stocking holders! Be sure to check it out here.

And then this year, I took it even further and made a mantel slipcover. Right here!

Super closeup of the ribbon holding a stocking knotted around a rod on a mantel cover

It is so smart and so easy and so flexible, I’m pinching myself! While simultaneously kicking myself as to why I didn’t think of this a couple of years ago.

It has transformed my job of resetting our mantel and Christmas displays ten times in 30 days!!!!

Do You Want More Help Hanging Your Stockings?

More Christmas Stocking Ideas?

Well, you’re in luck!

a laptop is open on a desk with the cover of an ebook on the screen

love helping with just that — hanging and styling your Christmas stockings. In your style for your home.

I’ve published an ebook that shares ALL the how-tos and tricks I have developed over 25 years as a Christmas Stocking Professional (yes, there is such a thing). There’s a reason BHG Publications came to me three different times to help with their Christmas stockings.

It’s a cool flip book on a laptop. or tablet and a PDF on phones. You can see all the details right here.

As always, I’m just a click away. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Here's to Joy-Filled Living, Diane



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